First lady Melania Trump traveled to a border facility in Arizona on Thursday, hosting a roundtable discussion with members of law enforcement on the border.
“I want to thank you for all your hard work. I know how difficult and dangerous your daily jobs are,” she said. “I am here to support you and help any way I can.”
Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch of the Tucson Sector Border Patrol told the first lady that there was “a lot of misinformation” about their handling of children who were caught crossing the border illegally.
One agent said 1,600 people, including 539 in families, tried to enter the United States illegally just on Wednesday.
“Serious enforcement of immigration laws is necessary and there has to be consequences for violations of the laws, because if you don’t have consequences then you promote additional illegal activity,” he said.
Assistant Director of Field Operations Director Michael Humphries also criticized the misconceptions about the border enforcement process.
He said that frequently many adults who claimed a relationship with children were lying and that separating the children from the adults helped them prevent child trafficking across the border.
Agents said that children more frequently were apprehended unaccompanied at the border.
“We give the utmost care to all coming in,” Humphries said.
Border patrol agent Joyce Silva spoke about how she cared for the children she found at the border.
“As a mother, it hurts to see the children, they don’t really know what’s going on,” she said.
She said border agents worked with compassion, removing them from the dangerous parts of the border and giving the children food, water, clothing, and toys to help comfort them.
“There’s a lot of parents in the border patrol and we really care for the children,” Silva said.